Embracing Unique Solutions
AMK9, a global security firm operating in volatile regions such as Afghanistan and Iran, faced significant challenges with injuries.
The firm had a broker at the time but felt that broker wasn’t delivering the value the company expected. It cast its net and found Worldwide Risk Management’s Jason Allen.
“He used his resources to dramatically improve our loss history,” said risk manager Ralph Mylie. “I would say that he’s saved us millions of dollars.”
Part of that effort included working with the insurance carrier to connect the client with vendors with the right expertise.
One of the vendors Allen sourced uses sophisticated baseline imaging that can be compared against post-injury imaging to more accurately identify work causation.
This was key, said Mylie, because a good chunk of the company’s losses had been coming from people that were probably not screened properly to begin with.
Partnering with that vendor, AMK9 gained a high level of confidence it was paying for legitimate claims, and costs began dropping rapidly.
“He goes 120 percent for his clients,” said the founder and chief scientific officer for the vendor. She said she has worked with several of Allen’s clients with similar issues managing soft tissue injuries.
Added another client with personnel deployed across the globe, “Jason absolutely understands what our company’s true needs are.”
Bespoke Solutions for Every Challenge
Matt Edelheit thrives on problems that require complex solutions. Recently, Edelheit’s client, Valvoline Inc., spun off from its parent company, and separated legacy liabilities that were assigned to both companies. The vast majority of these claims were workers’ comp, some dating back to the early ’70s.
“I was hired to come in and do ERM,” said Mark Bures, Valvoline’s manager of enterprise risk management and insurance. “I had 15 years’ experience in ERM and zero in insurance.”
“Matt was an unbelievable resource in helping me understand it all,” Bures said. “I call him for everything, and he always takes the call.”
Working closely with all stakeholders, Edelheit’s team created a customized insurance program that reduced the client’s retentions, reduced their total cost of risk and removed more than $1.8M of historical losses that would have otherwise been collateralized.
For another client, a nationwide self-storage company that owns some of its facilities and manages others, Edelheit developed a unique program structure that allows smaller owners to take advantage of the company’s buying power to get better rates.
“I’m not aware of anyone doing what we did,” said the company’s risk management director. Edelheit recommended a safety shoe program for employees and reduced bending-related injuries by instituting a walk-to-open procedure for unit doors.
“We’ve dropped probably between 35 and 40 percent in claims costs and premiums.”
A Steadying Presence
Any broker can do a good job when a client’s sailing in calm waters. But it takes a Power Broker® like Marsh’s Tim Keip to help steady the ship during storms.
Keip’s mettle was tested during a tricky renewal for a manufacturing client that had been acquired by a larger company and was merging risk management and insurance departments.
The client enlisted Keip’s help in steering the parent company to its carrier and developing a new program that played to both company’s strengths.
“It took tons of work” and some serious creativity, said the client, including carving out certain pieces of the program and applying different deductibles.
Another client was in the middle of a significant marketing effort when tragedy struck, and the company was faced with a catastrophic claim. Half of the potential carriers dropped the company like a hot potato.
But Keip kicked into overdrive to keep the claim from derailing the renewal, organizing on-site inspections and safety presentations, making a case for carriers that necessary steps had been taken to minimize the risk of a repeat catastrophe.
He made a convincing case that while bad things do happen, the company had taken responsible measures to improve safety results, the client said.
When all was said and done, the program benefited from significant improvements, including a unique feature that allowed the client to apply appropriate retentions to different aspects of its operations.
Building Dream Teams
Travis Biggert’s approach to client service is a little bit like solving puzzles: carefully select each piece until the whole program fits.
Biggert and his HUB team spent years interviewing and vetting occupational medicine physicians, attorneys, neurosurgery groups and orthopedic groups to build teams that best serve their clients.
“Our premium had almost doubled in a year,” said one client, a large retailer. “We had some claims that were dragging out.” Travis and his team “helped us refine our process,” he said. “Our premiums would have been half a million, but now they’re under $200,000. He’s really been a game changer for us.”
Mercy Regional EMS. owner and CEO Duke Dixon said Biggert came in and redesigned the company’s program from top to bottom. “At that point I was willing to try anything.
“Travis brought in some programs that restructured the way we do workers’ comp,” including pre-employment testing and a specialized musculoskeletal tool called Electrodiagnostic Functional Assessment.
“Our number of claims dropped practically overnight,” said Dixon. “And the claims we have now we know are legit.”
Biggert works exceptionally hard “to help insureds understand their loss patterns and develop strategies to reduce those losses,” said Mark Gruber, chief operating officer of Oklahoma’s state insurance fund, CompSource Mutual.
“Travis is probably the most proactive individual I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.”
The Man with the Answers
The CEO at San Diego-based PMS Janitorial was comfortable with her incumbent provider. But her son Phil Senescall, the company’s sales director, convinced her to take a meeting with his longtime friend, Chad Hoxie.
She was powerfully impressed, said Senescall, and Hoxie has been a game-changer for the company ever since.
“He’s great with giving us out-of-the-box ideas,” said Maria Butler, the company’s HR director.
Hoxie’s current work-in-progress is trying to expand the company’s medical provider network to include a cross-border health care group specializing in serving U.S. workers who would rather receive treatment in Mexico.
If he succeeds, it will build a higher level of trust with Hispanic employees who are injured on the job, said Butler.
She adds that Hoxie’s customer service is off the charts. Perfect example: Late afternoon on the Friday before Christmas, an urgent question cropped up.
“I knew a lot of people were headed out early, but I was desperately trying to get an answer for my employee,” she said. “I had exhausted all my resources as far as calling my adjuster and my entire line of contacts.”
But she called Hoxie, and he called her right back and promised to find the answer she needed. Not only did he get the answer promptly, “but then offered to get me more information,” she said.
“Here I thought I was going to have to wait until the following week. I don’t know who he called, but he was able to get me an answer.”
Guiding Clients Toward Best in Class
Marsh’s Dennis Tierney is the one you call when you need someone to take the 30,000-foot view and find ways to turn a good program into one that is truly best in class.
“Dennis came onto our account, and it was a breath of fresh air,” said Phil Scarano, director of risk finance management, Diageo North America Inc.
Scarano said Tierney has a gift for “making sure the best people and the best talent are touching your files.”
During an aggressive claims review, Tierney revamped the way the company accesses legal services, ensuring that a wider breadth of defense firms is considered. He also made the shift from in-house counsel to a panel of counselors.
Tierney, as National Director of Workers’ Comp Claims, is exceptional at helping clients understand how claims in one part of the country may be looked at differently than in other regions or jurisdictions.
That’s why for a distributor client, Tierney took the time to hand-pick the company’s team of resources, including attorneys in each jurisdiction.
“He was part of the interview process,” said the company’s risk and insurance manager.
“He was instrumental in helping us find the right fit, and helping us understand the jurisdictional nuances.”